Techonlogy tales

How our business gets things done with Lync

By David McAllister
Chief Technology Office
Equinoxe Alternative Investment fund

Equinoxe is a premium, full-service, alternative investment fund service provider founded in 2007 with ninety employees in seven different locations around the world including Bermuda, Ireland, USA, Mauritius, Malta, and Singapore. As chief technology officer, it's my job to ensure all systems are up and running.

Getting work done on a daily basis requires collaborating across the globe

Because we're spread across the globe, we need a cost-effective communication system that brings us together. Microsoft Lync does exactly that for us. Lync helps to create the feeling that our teams are working side-by-side—even when I'm in Atlanta talking to someone in Singapore. And it saves us the expense of international phone calls.

When I start work in the morning I can immediately see who is online, even if they're as far away as Mauritius, using Lync's presence indicator. If they're not available, with one click I can check to see when they will be. I can even tag them so that I'll know when I can reach them.

Connecting the right people is easy

Conference calls are a daily occurrence for me. With a click of the button, I can easily add someone into a Lync conference to consult with them. When the conversation is over, I can drop them off the call. This makes it easy to get answers to pressing questions quickly and it's a significant improvement over a traditional phone system.

Meeting online makes efficient and effective use of our time

Every month we get our senior management team together for a call. This involves people joining from as close as Atlanta to as far away as our Singapore office. Lync saves us the cost of multiple airplane tickets. With so many people attending, it could cost us thousands of dollars monthly in air travel and motel costs, not to mention lost productivity. While we don't often use video, it is an option.

Setting appointments is a snap

In the past, if we wanted to give an online presentation for a client, we would use WebEx. Now we can host these meetings ourselves with the Lync Web App. Because Lync integrates with Outlook, we simply send a Lync meeting invite to our clients. They can click on the meeting link within the invite to enter the online presentation. The attendee requires no special license and doesn't need to install a Lync client. And since Lync comes with our Office subscription, we don't have to pay extra for WebEx.

First-rate presentation tools give a professional polish to our meetings and product demos

During presentations, we can screen share, add video, white board, record the call, or take a poll. With larger audiences, we can even hold a Q&A session.

Collaborating with colleagues

Many of our partners, clients and vendors also use Microsoft Lync. By taking advantage of Lync federation services, we can collaborate with them as if they were an internal user. We can use the same presentation features with them, check their availability and even share files. And it's easy to set up. All we had to do was change a setting on our Lync server to openly federate, which means users from other companies can communicate with Equinoxe users via Lync.

Mobile connectivity enhances our productivity

If something goes wrong at any of our offices, people have to be able to contact me 24/7. I have a Lync mobile app on my cell phone that permits anyone to contact me through instant messaging or by voice. This lets me use one number that follows me around. Whether I'm in the office or on the move my team can always reach me.

Using unified messaging, a feature of Microsoft Exchange, someone can leave me a voicemail that is automatically delivered to my inbox. I can pick it up in Outlook or from the email client on my cell phone. It just requires a one-time set up.
Lync helps us keep it all together
There are other unified solutions. But none of them tie together as nicely for us, given our use of other Microsoft products like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint. Having all these fully integrated applications means we can concentrate on taking care of our clients and not worrying about our software.

About David McAllister

David McAllister is a member of the Senior Management Team at Equinoxe.

He is responsible for all aspects of technology infrastructure, development and service delivery globally which includes offices in the US, Bermuda, Ireland, Malta, Mauritius and Singapore. He has managed the technology design and implementation from the inception of Equinoxe. This involved defining a technology strategy that has ensured that Equinoxes' growth into new markets is both easily achievable and readily available.

In addition to the infrastructure, David also oversees a development team which has built new applications in the Hedge Fund Administration space allowing their business team to offer new technology applications and enhanced reporting capabilities for clients.

David McAllister
Chief Technology Officer

Article ID: 2995538 - Last Review: 24 Oct 2014 - Revision: 1